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Quimper (Breton: Kemper, Latin: Corspotium) is a commune and capital of the Finistèremarker department in Bretagne in north-western Francemarker.

Its inhabitants are called Quimpérois.


Quimper is the prefecture (capital) of the Finistèremarker department.


The name Quimper comes from the Breton kemper "confluent" because the city was built on the confluence of the Steir, Odetmarker and Jet rivers. It is at the intersection of Route National 165, D785, D765 and D783, northwest of Lorient, west of Rennesmarker and west-southwest of Parismarker.


Quimper is the ancient capital of La Cornouaille, Brittany’s most traditional region, and has a distinctive Breton character. Shops and flags celebrating the region's Celtic heritage can be found throughout the city. Quimper was originally settled during Roman times. By AD 495, the town had become a Bishopric. It subsequently became the capital of the counts of Cornouailles. In the 11th century, it was united with the Duchy of Brittany. During the civil wars of the 14th century, the town suffered considerable ruin. In 1364, the duchy passed to the House of Montfort.

The town has a rustic atmosphere with footbridges spanning the rivers that flow through it. The Church of Locmaria, a Romanesque structure, dates from the eleventh century. The Cathedral of Saint-Corentinmarker, with its Gothic-style façade, was constructed between the 13th and 16th centuries. It is the oldest Gothic structure in lower Brittany. Its two towers are 250 feet tall; its spires were added in the 19th century. The 15th century stained glass windows are exceptional. The cathedral is dedicated to Quimper's first bishop, Corentin.

To the cathedral's west are the pedestrianized streets of Vieux Quimper with a wide array of crêperies, half-timbered houses and shops. Near the Episcopal palace, which now holds the Musée départemental Breton (devoted to regional history, archaeology, ethnology and economy) are the ruins of the town's 15th century walls. Nearby is the Musée des Beaux-Arts. The museum has a nineteenth century façade and an entirely rebuilt interior. It houses a collection of 14th to 21st century paintings that includes works by Boucher, Corot, Oudry and Rubens along with canvases by such Pont-Aven School painters as Bernard, Denis, Lacombe, Maufra and Paul Sérusier.

The town's best known product is Quimper faïence pottery. It has been made here since 1690, using bold provincial designs of Jean-Baptiste Bousquet. The town’s eating establishments boast some of the best crêpes and cider in Brittany. The town has also been known for copper and bronze work, food items, galvanized ironware, hosiery, leather, paper and woollen goods.

Breton language

The municipality launched a linguistic plan through Ya d'ar brezhoneg on February the 6th of 2008.

In 2007, 4.7% of the children attended the bilingual schools in primary education.


Quimper has several schools, under which two Diwan preschools, two Diwan primary schools and one Diwan collège. In total, 287 students attended here a Diwan school in 2003-2004.

Winter Festival

Most French festivals are held in the summer season, but Quimper has a Winter Festival: Les Hivernautes. In the summer, you can also find concerts on street corners, with pipers and accordion players.

Main sights

Quimper Cathedral
  • the Roman Catholic cathedral of Saint-Corentinmarker. This cathedral has a remarkable bend in its middle.
  • churches (Locmaria, Saint-Mathieu, Kerfeunteun, Ergue-Armel...)
  • an old town centre with mediaeval fortifications and houses
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts (near the cathedral)
  • Cornouaille Festival: traditional dance (last week of July)
  • Faience museum
  • Statue of Gradlon looking in the direction of Ys, in the Saint Corentin Cathedralmarker


Public transport in Quimper is provided by QUB. The network consists of 7 urban bus routes, and 16 suburban bus routes. During the summer months of July and August, an additional "beach" bus route is open to service.

Quimper is the terminus of the TGV high-speed train line from Parismarker, which passes through Le Mansmarker, Rennesmarker and Vannes. Journey duration is approximately 04h25. In addition, the following destinations are served by the TER Bretagne (the regional train network) :
  • Quimper - Brest (01h09)
  • Quimper - Rennes (02h15)


Quimper was the birthplace of:

Twin towns

Quimper is twinned with:

See also

External links


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